Jun 18, 2013 / 368 notes

Mother Jones: “RIP Michael Hastings. Here’s His Advice to Young Journalists”

Okay, here’s my advice to you (and young journalists in general):

1.) You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it’s medical school or law school.

2.) When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose,” or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.

3.) Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it’s unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it’s also the reality.

4.) When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.

5.) Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.

6.) You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.

7.) If there’s a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.

8.) By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can’t come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it’s going to be a challenge to get it published.)

9.) Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life—family, friends, social life, whatever.

10.) Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.

Read more about Hastings and his incredible career over at Rolling Stone.

Source: Mother Jones

  1. codexofgigas reblogged this from gracebello
  2. kailyndavillier reblogged this from sunburnqueen
  3. asekuba reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  4. theill-madeknight reblogged this from inothernews
  5. talaathasan reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  6. tonisofiamagnolialane reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  7. latrice-royale reblogged this from inothernews
  8. wanderers-of-the-earth reblogged this from inothernews
  9. andrerichesque reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook and added:
    Hey, this sounds like great advice for being a political operative.
  10. heroicallyfound reblogged this from thebardofavon
  11. dailyevolution reblogged this from inothernews and added:
    Advice for young writers from someone who knew
  12. waterraining reblogged this from inothernews
  13. nsbean reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  14. thebardofavon reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  15. vic-ko reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook
  16. ligayaharukadiwata reblogged this from goodideaexchange and added:
    I did this, but I didn’t land in my dream job. I’m just glad I entered a related field though!
  17. goodideaexchange reblogged this from stepwise
  18. stepwise reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook and added:
    There are lessons in here for every profession.
  19. palazofhoon reblogged this from inothernews
  20. fenikkusuai reblogged this from rhodanum
  21. kayjenno reblogged this from thepoliticalnotebook and added:
    Sigh.
  22. in-convenient-ruth reblogged this from saila